Before the existence of an air compressor, many tools are powered with complex systems and bulk components. Because it is massive and not portable, small businesses cannot afford the machine.

For All Your Air Compressor Needs

The creation of air compressors allows small businesses to thrive. Nowadays, you can see the machine almost everywhere, such as workshops, shops, and even utilized for home needs.

This compressed air can be used for various applications but commonly used in workshops or industrial-type businesses. It is a versatile device making it a favorite device among any work setting. Air compressors produce a lot of power for their size, are portable, and don’t need a lot of maintenance care.

Air compressor doesn’t require a massive motor, but it can power a lot of tools. It is not limited to power tools like drills or paint spray; it can also unclog the sink and inflate a tire. The air compressor is indeed versatile.

How Air Compressor Works

An Air compressor is a mechanical device that converts power into kinetic energy. The air compressor works by pushing more and more air into the storage tank, thus increasing the pressure. Once it reaches the limit, it will automatically shut down. (1). It can be used to power tools like drills, sanders, staplers, grinders, and spray guns. 

  • Air Displacement

The heart of every air compressor is air displacement. It is a mechanism where the air is displaced into the chamber and then compressed. There are two types of air displacement; positive and dynamic.

The positive displacement is a common mechanism used in which air is pulled into the chamber and stored in the storage tank (2). There are three types of compressors that use positive displacement: rotary screw, rotary vane, and piston. 

While dynamic displacement refers to the use of rotating blades to pull air into the chamber, it produces large volumes of air. It is used in large projects such as steel manufacturers or chemical plants. There are two types of compressors under dynamic displacement, and these are axial and centrifugal compressors.

  • Pump and Compressor

People often used pumps and compressors interchangeably, but it doesn’t mean the same thing. A pump moves liquids and gasses between spaces while a compressor moves air in the chamber and compresses it to create pressure. A compressor cannot handle liquids, but a pump can handle both liquid and air.

Guide to Buy Air Compressor

Looking for suitable air compressors for sale can be overwhelming, especially when there are a lot to choose from. The lack of basic knowledge, especially if you are looking for a workshop air compressor, can make it hard for you to decide. Here are few guides to help you in your search for the perfect air compressor.

  • Find the right pressure (PSI) and horsepower (HP)

PSI stands for pounds per square inch. 

It is an important indicator when you are looking for an air compressor. 

In general, air compressor-powered tools require at least 90 psi to work. On the other hand, horsepower rating is about the size of the compressor. Many industrial use compressors have a rating of 5 HP.

  • Find the right CFM

CFM means cubic feet per minute, and this refers to the volume of air produced by the air compressor. You can compute the CFM by computing the speed and size; however, many compressors have a label that indicates the CFM. For a 90 PSI, a compressor with 3 or 4 CFM is good to go. 

  • Size of the tank

The purpose of the tank is to store compressed air, and the size doesn’t matter. What you need to check is the pump because it s responsible for producing the air. A big pump means you can get a non-stop supply of air compared to the small ones. 

If you are using it to power tools such as a sander, then a small air compressor is sufficient. For those who need an intermittent power supply, a small compressor with a big tank will be perfect for your need. 

  • Duty Cycle

Find a compressor with a good duty cycle because it indicates how long it can run, under ten minutes. A 50% duty cycle means the air compressor shouldn’t exceed 5 minutes when being used. If you are looking for an industrial, heavy-duty type, get the 100% duty cycle.

  • Single Stage or Two Stage

A single-stage compressor has a cylinder that pumps air into the chamber, while a two-stage compressor moves air to a cooling tube and into a second cylinder. The two-stage compressor is used for work that requires high pressure.

  • Life Expectancy

Before committing to a specific brand, make sure to inquire about the life expectancy of that specific air compressor. It would be a waste to buy something that would not last for a long time. In many instances, a durable compressor can cost a few dollars more but last longer than the cheaper ones. 

  • Can withstand moisture

The presence of moisture can be problematic because it will accumulate inside the compressor, leading to a breakdown. The moisture is caused because of the heat produced when air is compressed. The heat will produce moisture due to condensation. If you are using the compressor for long periods, it is advisable to get a bigger one to avoid overwork and heat production. 

  • Think about long term cost

If you are planning to purchase an air compressor for long-term use, consider the overall, lifetime cost. Low price item is tempting but if you take into consideration the long term use, it may cost you more. A general rule is energy and servicing consist of 80% of the lifetime cost while the purchase price is only 20%.


There are many air compressors available in the market. However, not all compressors perform the same. It is essential to understand the basics of air compressors to know what is suitable for your lifestyle and business. Air compressor is a tool even homeowner would want to have because of its diversity and flexibility. If you are looking for an air compressor for sale, dedicate time for research and look for various stores online to get the best deal for your need.

References: 1. 2.